RAGBRAI Day Two: Nice Weather and Few Hills on the Way to Algona

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MALLARD, Iowa-  It was a picture perfect day for RAGBRAI 2017.

RAGBRAI riders on Monday posed for pictures with a giant and a giant religious monument, the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, along the 71 mile route.   Some riders started the day around 5:00 am to add an extra 30 miles to their ride to get in the 100 mile Century Loop through Plover.

One rider, who will ride on Tuesday’s ride has literally seen it all.  Jim Hopkins of Windsor Heights has been on every RAGBRAI ride since they began in 1973.

“It was my wife.  She found it in the back pages of the Register,” said Hopkins. “I said this is a good deal for our son, so we all went on.  I joined them halfway because I was a surgeon and had things to do.”

The 84-year-old Hopkins will ride along with his grandsons on Tuesday.  That’s even with a neck brace he is wearing. The retired surgeon is planning to have surgery himself in a few weeks.

RAGBRAI day two started with blue skies, sunshine and comfortable temperatures though the afternoon got a little warm for procrastinators.

Riders stopped in Mallard to pose by the “Mallard, We’re Friendly Ducks” sign.  Traffic out of Mallard was directed by troopers John Stickney, of Manchester, and Shelby McCreedy of Atlantic.  Around mid-morning McCreedy was hit by a bike while directing traffic.  She did not seek medical treatment.

“Somebody hit me, I got ran into by a bike,” said McCreedy. “It’s just part of the job, I’d rather be hit by a bike, than a car.”

“It’s the nature of the beast, the kid was coming right at her,” said Stickney.

The troopers have fun at their job directing traffic.  With Johnny Cash,s “ Folsum Prison Blues” blaring from a PA, McCreedy was putting some moves into her traffic directing.

“It’s early, you gotta have fun when you can,” said McCreedy.

“You get all walks of life through here, said Stickney. “From Mississippi, Canada, from Montana, we had a guy come through here from Switzerland.”